How Many Data Breaches in 2021? (2022 Statistics List)

Last Updated: August 7, 2022
Let’s talk about how many data breaches happened in 2021 and what you can do to protect yourself.
How Many Data Breaches
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Quick Answer 🔍

How many data breaches in 2021?

There were 4,145 publicly disclosed data breaches.

How many data breaches in 2021 happened?

Data breaches seem to be on the rise, with the latest report showing a 68% rise in 2021 alone.

The most targeted entities in the record-breaking 2021 data breaches included oil pipeline operators and organizations that store protected, sensitive, personal data (information). 

While the overall number of people impacted by data breaches were 5% less than 2020, cybercriminals now focus on smaller, more narrowly targeted data over comprehensive data breaching.

Let’s talk about how many data breaches in 2021 happened and what you can do to protect yourself.

Key Takeaways

  • There were 4,145 publicly disclosed data breaches in 2022.
  • The average cost of a data breach in the US in 2021 came to $4.24 million.
  • Ransomware, cyberattacks and other forms of data breaches increased over the past few years.
  • The world’s record for the biggest payout from a ransomware demand this year was $40 million and was made by an insurance company. 
  • 38% of data breach costs are from the loss of business
  • It takes at least 58 days to detect and control a data breach in the remote sector.
  • Data breaches that involved between 50 million and 65 million records accounted for $401 million in costs in 2021
  • Zero-Trust Architecture protocols saved data breach costs to the tune of $1.76 million in 2021.
  • AI and automation were key technologies that helped companies find and contain breaches faster.
  • Hybrid cloud solutions come with a 23% loser cost in data breach problems over all other cloud environments.

What Are the Costs of Data Breaches?

IBM’s most recent data breach report showed that the costs of a data breach in 2021 accounted for $4.24 million in America.

This figure is a 10% increase over the average cost of a data breach in 2019, which accounted for $3.86 million.

To put things in perspective, Mimecast estimated that the average ransomware demand used against American companies came to much more than $6 million. 

The world’s record for the biggest payout from a ransomware demand this year was $40 million and was made by an insurance company.

How Many Data Breaches in 2021 Cost More than Money?

It’s estimated that 38% of data breach costs are from the loss of business. This is where costs like customer turnover, obtaining new business, and the lost revenue because of system and/or website downtime. 

The factors used to calculate the cost of a data breach include legal issues, customer turnover, employee productivity, loss of brand integrity, regulatory issues, technical actions and issues, and hundreds of other factors involving financial and other costs.

What Industries Incur the Biggest Cost for Data Breach?

How many data breaches in 2021 incurred high costs?

The highest data breach costs impact the healthcare industry.

Furthermore, where remote work was involved, the average cost of a data breach was $1.07 million more than any other market. The remote workforce requires more time to contain such breaches. 

Businesses surveyed reported that it takes a minimum of 58 days to identify and control a data breach in the remote sector. So, it costs more and it takes longer to resolve. 

For 11 years in a row, the healthcare industry has been paying more than any other industry with regard to data breaches. The average cost in 2021 came to $9.23 million, up from $7.13 million in 2020, which is an increase of 29.3%.

How Many Records Were Breached in 2021?

Directly correlated to “how many data breaches in 2021 occurred?”, is how many records were breached. 

Data breaches that involve the compromising of a minimum of 50 million records are called mega breaches, which come at a cost of 100 times more than average data breaches. 

Data breaching of between 50 million and 65 million records accounted for $401 million in costs in 2021. In 2020, that cost was $392 million. Therefore, this cost is also up.

What’s Been Done to Mitigate Data Breaches?

Data Breaches

There is some good news in all this complex data. There are some things that actually saved money, saved data, and aided in the protection of stored data.

The implementation of Zero-Trust Architecture helped reduce the average costs of data breaches in 2021 by $1.76 million. 

Where the average cost of a single data breach was $3.28 million, without the Zero-Trust Architecture protocol would have been $5.01 million.

Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) were key in helping organizations find and contain date breaches faster than without this technology.

How? Because this technology addresses one of the major elements of breach costs, which is time. 

While data breaches occurred in hybrid cloud spaces, this environment helped reduce the costs by $1.19 million than on-site cloud, private, or public markets. 

The average cost of a data breach in the hybrid cloud accounted for $3.61 million, which is 23% less than all other types of cloud spaces.

What Are the Top Five Companies that Experienced Data Breaches in 2021?

1. Microsoft was hacked by Hafnium, the Chinese hacking group in March 2021. It impacted more than 30,000 companies in the US, including government agencies, local governments, and companies.

2. Facebook’s data breach in April 2021 left 533 million users’ information vulnerable to the hackers. The data included user name, location, posts, and date of birth.

3. The Colonial Pipeline experienced a ransomware attack in May 2021, which halted fuel flow, but didn’t affect the main technical systems.

4. JBS was the victim of a ransomware attack in May 2021. The cybercriminals demanded $11 million to release the data back to the company. It impacted the processing of poultry and beef. JBS used Bitcoin to pay the offenders.

5. Another ransomware attack was perpetrated on Kaseya in July 2021, impacting its users ability to access files.

Conclusion

You should now know more about the dangers of how many data breaches in 2021 impacted not only America, but the world. The potential for data breaches spreading and growing is real. 

If you own a business small, medium, or large, take the appropriate steps to mitigate the risks of cyberattacks and data breaches as mentioned in this article. 

Sources

IBMITRCJumpCloud
UpguardSecurity Magazine

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Written by Trevor Cooke

The only safe internet is a private internet. You’ll see me at parties talking about cybersecurity, privacy, and VPNs. Yes, I’m that guy.